bedridden, birthday, born day, Clarence W. Drayton, dad, death, festive, Heartbreak, hurting, joyless, jubilant, March 6, March 7 & 8, oldest son, Olumuyiwa Ade Keen, racked with pain, ruined, sad reminders, sorrow, struggling
When a woman gives birth, she has a hard time, there’s no getting around it. But when the baby is born, there is joy in the birth. This new life in the world wipes out memory of the pain. The sadness you have right now is similar to that pain, but the coming joy is also similar. When I see you again, you’ll be full of joy, and it will be a joy no one can rob from you. You’ll no longer be so full of questions. ~ John 16:21-23a, MSG
Around this time each year, as March 6 approaches, I begin agonizing. I am not struggling because March 6 is my birthday. Moreover, I am not struggling because I am afraid of getting older. I welcome old age.
I am struggling because, since 1996, what should be a joyous occasion for me has been dampened by my thoughts of the now two sad events that closely follow my born day. These two events involve my dad and my oldest son.
The day after my 45th birthday, which was in 1996, my dad died. Then last year, two days after my 66th birthday, Ade became bedridden. He died in Kindred Hospital – Greensboro just two days after his 45th birthday. For these reasons, I am not looking forward to my birthday.
Although I am certain that my dad and my son are in Heaven, this assurance is not what first comes to mind. Before this year’s birthday, I used to hurt so much from the reminder that another anniversary of my dad’s passing was drawing near.
Today, I am racked with a triple dose of pain, and that is because, in addition to the pain that was triggered by my dad’s last-day reminder, the pain that was triggered by Ade’s final-hospitalization reminder doubled once thoughts of the upcoming first anniversary of his May 2nd death manifested. In other words, I am truly hurting.
The pain I feel today is why I will not be in a celebratory mood on March 6. To be honest, I am not sure if I will ever have a truly festive born day, again.